Attorney General Ashley Moody News Release
|October 21, 2021
Contact: Kylie Mason
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
VIDEO: Attorney General Moody Urges Floridians to Participate in National Drug Take Back Day
TALLAHASEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody is urging Floridians to participate in the 21st National Drug Take Back Day. The biannual event provides an opportunity for Floridians to properly dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs, controlled substances or vaping materials. This is a safe and responsible way to dispose of pharmaceuticals, such as opioids, that could otherwise fall into the wrong hands and lead to drug abuse, addiction and overdose deaths.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Floridians disposed of more than 29,000 pounds of prescription drugs and materials during the last nationwide Drug Take Back Day in April. That’s a lot of medication that might have fallen into the wrong hands were it not for responsible citizens who took action to prevent addiction and save lives. So please, take a moment to check your prescriptions and if you find a medication you no longer need, bring it to a collection site near you.”
Miami-Dade County Police Director Freddy Ramirez said, "Programs like this one showcase the excellent collaboration by local, state and federal agencies, with the common goal to prevent tragedy."
This event is so important in the fight to stop opioid abuse because, according to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, two-thirds of teens who misused pain relievers say they got them from family and friends, often out of home medicine cabinets. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than half of all people who misused pain relievers obtained them from a friend or relative.
Additionally, there are concerns about the increase in counterfeit pills containing deadly amounts of fentanyl. Since the start of 2021, officials have seized more than 9.5 million counterfeit pills—an increase of nearly 430% since 2019. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin and is an accelerating force behind the increase in drug overdose deaths. Just two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage. Following a sizeable pill seizure last month, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration lab results revealed that four out of every 10 fake pills contained a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl. According to the DEA, just a few years ago, about 10% of drugs tested contained fentanyl—that is now up to 40%. Attorney General Moody urges parents to please talk to children about the dangers of drug use—one pill can kill.
For more information about these deadly counterfeit pills, click TakeBackDay.DEA.gov.
National Drug Take Back Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23. Using the website, TakeBackDay.DEA.gov, Floridians can find local disposal locations throughout the state and find national data about previous Drug Take Back Days. In Florida alone, more than 470,000 pounds of prescriptions drugs and materials have been collected since 2010 through these efforts.
According to the latest Florida Department of Law Enforcement Medical Examiners Report, 21 people in Florida die from opioid-related overdoses every day. Attorney General Moody created Dose of Reality Florida to increase public awareness, education and access to services to prevent prescription painkiller misuse and save lives. The comprehensive, statewide resource also provides a list of year-round take-back locations.
In July, Attorney General Moody announced historic, nationwide agreements that will help bring $26 billion in relief to Americans who are struggling with opioid addiction. The agreements resolve investigations and litigation over the role of creating and fueling the opioid epidemic by companies AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson—the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors—as well as Johnson & Johnson, who manufactured and marketed the goods.
In total, Attorney General Moody has secured nearly $2 billion for Floridians through aggressive litigation and negotiation efforts.